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Community Leaders, Advocates Alarmed by Marshallese COVID-19 Hospitalizations, Deaths

Dr. Sheldon Riklon (left) is an associate professor at the University of Arkansas Northwest Arkansas campus and Pearl McElfish is vice chancellor.


Although they only make up about two percent of Northwest Arkansas's population of half a million people, Marshall Islanders make up about half of the deaths from COVID-19 in Benton and Washington Counties. Community leaders and advocates say they're alarmed at the health and socioeconomic disparities that have led to the disproportionate hospitalizations and deaths in the Marshallese community. They also say the state needs a dedicated approach to curb the spread of the virus.

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